BOSTON – The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is pleased to announce that the Green Communities of Lincoln, Sudbury and Wayland, who are participating in Solarize Mass as a group, have reached the threshold of contracted projects that guarantees the lowest pricing available, with two months left to go before the deadline. The Solarize Mass program offers a tiered pricing structure that provides increasing discounts as more people participate. These three towns now have contracts for 53 separate systems, representing 484 kW of new capacity, which allows all customers to receive Tier 5 pricing. For Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland, Tier 5 pricing is $3.70/watt, which is 30 percent lower than the average installed cost for small PV systems in the Commonwealth.
“Solarize Massachusetts is producing direct benefits for homeowners and small businesses who are locking in favorable electricity rates for decades to come, and creating jobs for the people who are helping them do it,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan.
Astrum Solar, whose Massachusetts operations are based in nearby Hopkinton, was selected by a committee of local volunteers and municipal officials, with input from state officials, to serve as the designated installer for Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland. Astrum Solar works in close contact with volunteer “solar coaches” in each of those towns. The community solar coach plays a critical role in engaging the community and spurring participation in the Solarize Massachusetts program throughout the summer. The Community Solar Coaches for Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland are Jennie Morris, Rami Alwan, and Kaat Vander Straeten, respectively.
“Solarize Mass has proven to be an effective catalyst for increasing the amount of solar PV in the Commonwealth, generating power without any emissions, and creating jobs for people in Massachusetts,” said Eric Macaux, Senior Director of Strategy and Legal Affairs of MassCEC. “I applaud Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland for reaching Tier 5 pricing, and look forward to seeing many more Solarize communities maximize the savings available to them in the Solarize Mass program in the coming months.”
"There are many reasons why I am so excited about the prospect of seeing so much solar in our towns,” said Kaat Vander Straeten, the Wayland Community Solar Coach. “Aside from the environmental benefits, which are substantial, there is also the advantage of greater resilience: a pool of small, local, independent producers of electricity is a lot more resilient than one big, centralized power plant relying on imported fuels. Moreover, people who become producers also become more aware of how much they consume and of the many impacts of their consumption. Hopefully our towns can become models and this new energy landscape won't be extraordinary for long."
Solarize Mass, which is a partnership among the MassCEC and the Green Communities Division of the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), encourages the adoption of small scale solar PV by deploying a coordinated education, marketing and outreach effort, combined with a tiered pricing structure that provides increased savings as more people in the community go solar. MassCEC provides technical support and hosts free educational meetings in the participating communities to educate people about the benefits of installing solar and to drive interest in implementing the technology.
MassCEC and DOER launched Solarize Mass last year as a pilot program in four Green Communities, leading to 162 new contracts signed. Seventeen Green Communities - Acton, Arlington, Boston, Hopkinton, Melrose, Mendon, Millbury, Montague, Newburyport, Palmer, Pittsfield, Lenox, Shirley, Sutton, Wayland, Sudbury and Lincoln – were selected in April to participate in phase two of the program, which runs through September.
Created by the Green Jobs Act of 2008, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has as its mission to foster the growth of the Massachusetts clean energy industry by providing seed grants to companies, universities, and nonprofit organizations; funding job training and workforce development programs; and, as home of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, supporting the installation of renewable energy projects throughout the state.
For more information about Solarize Mass, visit www.SolarizeMass.com and follow the twitter hash tag #SolarizeMass.